Apply sun cream to vulnerable parts of their body
Pets with thin, white or light-coloured coats are most at risk of sun damage. If your pet enjoys lounging in the sun, you should consider applying sun cream to sensitive areas that are not typically covered in fur and have thinner skin; such as the tips of their ears, their nose and their belly/groin area.
It is extremely important to choose an appropriate sun cream; there are specific pet sun creams on the market, but many experts have also recommended using a sun cream that is safe for human babies and has an SPF 20+. Despite this, you should research thoroughly before buying and we also highly recommend consulting your vet before using any human products on your pet. No matter which sun cream you buy, remember to make sure it DOES NOT contain zinc oxide, as they will often try to lick anything foreign off their body and this substance is toxic to pets.
You should always test the sun cream first before covering multiple areas of their body. Put some of the sun cream on a small area of your pet’s body and keep an eye on it for half an hour, as there’s a chance your pet might have a reaction to it.
Don’t shave your pet’s long coat for summer
A pet’s coat is designed (by nature!) to keep them cool in the summer and warm in the winter. If you shave your pet’s coat, you could be interfering with the built-in temperature regulation. Their coats also protect their skin from UV rays and sunburn, so shaving them will leave them more exposed to the sun. Instead of this, trim the coat slightly (always making sure you leave AT LEAST one inch of hair) and use an undercoat rake on them regularly to thin their coat out by getting rid of malting hairs.
Keep them inside during the hottest parts of the day
The sun is at its hottest between the hours of 11am – 3pm. It’s very wise during this time of the day to keep your pet in a shaded, cool room in your house and prevent them from going out and lying in the sun. This is the easiest and most effective way to protect your pet from the harmful effects of the sun.